The Rashtra Sevika Samiti, regarded as the women’s wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Samiti (RSS), is an independent Hindu nationalist women’s organization that works to uplift the status of women. The Rashtra Sevika Samiti is one of India’s oldest and largest women’s organization – devoted to the causes of women – but has somehow been overshadowed by the popularity of RSS.
On the 81st anniversary of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, we present to you 8 important facts about this organization that as an Indian you would like to know.
1. Although often regarded as the “women’s wing” of RSS, the Rashtra Sevika Samiti has always been an independent organization.
However, the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti share its ideology with RSS but its membership and leadership is restricted to women.
2. Laxmibai Kelkar founded this organization on 25 October, 1936.
She was impressed with the works of RSS and wanted to start a women’s wing of RSS.
3. It was on Dr. K.B. Hegdewar’s advice that Kelkar started an independent women’s organization.
This was because Hegdewar did not want to include women in RSS yet loved the idea of an independent organisation proposed by Laxmibai Kelkar.
4. Rashtra Sevika Samiti is today the largest Hindu women’s organization working to uphold Indian culture and traditions.
It is perhaps the only women’s organization that works towards the emancipation of women while keeping them grounded to their inherent Indian culture and traditions.
5. The Rashtra Sevika Samiti operates through 5,216 centers located across the country. It has an active membership ranging from 100,000 to 1 million.
The organization also has overseas branches in as many as 10 countries, where it works under the name Hindu Sevika Samiti.
6. They organize active shakhas in various branches, where students are taught yoga, singing, dance, cultural values and also imparted military training.
7. The Rashtra Sevika Samiti also runs 475 service projects to provide self-reliant means for the poor and underprivileged.
These services are imparted to all, irrespective of religion, caste, creed, gender, sect, or ethnicity.
8. The Rashtra Sevika Samiti focuses on Hindu women’s role in the society as leaders and agents of positive social reform.
It is one-of-a-kind organization which imparts military training to the Indian women as well as educate them of women’s role in society.